A three-man delegation from the International Rowing Federation (FISA) and African Rowing Federation (FASA) is expected in the country this coming week on a three-day visit.
The delegation, which consists of Mr Michel Doutre of FISA as well as FASA’s Faycal Soula and Selwyn Jackson, is expected in the country on Thursday. According to the Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC)’s Communications and Marketing Manager, Boniface Mabeo, the main purpose of the delegation will be to inspect the suitability of Gaborone Dam to host rowing competitions should the country be granted the go ahead to host the 2nd African Youth Games in 2014.
Mabeo says as part of Botswana’s bid to host the Youth Games, the country had designated Gaborone Dam as the competition venue for rowing during the games, hence the need to inspect the dam. Mabeo says the visit comes after the BNOC had lobbied both FISA and FASA to come into the country to inspect the dam, which is also procedure for hosting games.
He said while in Botswana, the delegation will meet with officials of Botswana Yacht Association as the sport of rowing currently falls under their ambit due to the non availability of a rowing association in the country. They will also determine how best they could assist with the development of the sport of rowing in Botswana.
“One of our intentions when hosting these games is to leave a long lasting legacy in the country’s sports. This legacy includes starting of new sporting codes that are not available in the country, of which rowing is among them,” Mabeo said.
He added that the idea behind the meeting of the local Yacht Association and the FISA / FASA delegation is to determine how best to start the sport locally.
“Yachting is similar to rowing and we are of the opinion that they (Yacht Association) can be at the forefront of rowing. We are hoping that should some of them show interest in rowing, they can be trained and developed as experts so as to help build the sport locally and to train others who will show interest,” Mabeo said.
He added that due to similarity of both yachting and rowing, the BNOC is of the view that people who are involved in yachting can easily be trained hence the decision to start with them.
Mabeo said that it is also expected that after the games, rowing will be among the local sporting codes, more so as both FISA and FASA have shown they are willing to help the country with both expertise and equipment to start the sport.